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EcoTools 6-Piece Brush Set & Tutorial
Best Of, Cheap Thrills, Earth Friendly, Makeup Fun - Comments (3) - October 9th, 2012

Ever since I first discovered EcoTools, I’ve been a huge fan. Almost all the makeup brushes I use now are from them. The 6-Piece Brush Set is a good place to start if you’re starting a brush collection, as it’s got some good foundation pieces, and is an excellent price.

The 6-piece brush set includes a blush brush, an eye shading brush, an angled eyeliner brush, a concealer brush, a lash/brow groomer, and a nice hemp/cotton brush holder/bag combo. The brush handles are all made out of bamboo (a great renewable resource), the bristles are synthetic, and the ferrules (the metal part) are made from recycled aluminum.

I use all of these brushes every time I put makeup on, and actually have multiples of some of them so I don’t have to clean them between uses. For example, I use the angled eyeliner brush both for eyeliner, but also to apply brow powder – so it’s nice to have two brushes so one can be dedicated to brow powder. I really like the case that comes with this set. In addition to the brush holders, it has a zippered bag to hold makeup, and a velcro flap to secure the brush holder side. It’s great for travel!

EcoTools did a nice tutorial for a pretty jewel-toned eye that uses the 6-piece brush set. You can check it out here.

You can beat the prices. EcoTools brushes are so affordable, but not cheaply made at all. I have several brushes that are now a few years old and they are holding up perfectly despite regular use and washing. I *heart* EcoTools!

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EOTD: Halo Dragon
Eyeshadow - Be the first to comment! - July 29th, 2011

I’ve been wanting to wear Halo from Black Rose Minerals for a while, but I wasn’t in the mood to go with something really matchy-matchy. Instead, I picked Green Dragon from Cinnamon Candies, a dark green color. I also played with a new brush from ecotools, the smudge brush with the nifty pencil sharpener on the end.

Halo is no longer available, but it is a lovely nude color on my eyes. It would work with a variety of other colors, and I’m particularly happy with how it looks paired with green. Green Dragon is from the Countryside Collection, and a nice dark green color.

I used my nifty smudge eyeliner brush to put some more Green Dragon on the lower lashline. I’m also wearing a new blush, Bloodbath from Detrivore, applied very lightly. The smudge brush is cool – it applied just the right amount of eyeshadow for a soft line on the lower lashline. The pencil sharpener on the end is really sharp and worked great on several of my pencils. Happy!

Edited to add: Cinnamon Candies has been re-named Cinnamon Cosmetics!

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EcoTools Brush Set Giveaway!
Giveaways - Comments (11) - February 26th, 2011

I love EcoTools brushes. These days, they are pretty much the only makeup brushes I’m using, since they have expanded their line to include almost everything you might need.

Because I love them so much, I’m giving away an EcoTools set of brushes with a brush case to one lucky reader! The giveaway set includes a blush brush, a fiber optic brush, an angled eyeshadow brush, and a brow/lash groomer, all in a cute zippered brush case. I use all of these on a near-daily basis, so this is definitely a great set for anyone!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me what your desert island makeup product would be. (Mine would be mascara!) Be sure to use a valid email address, since that’s how I’ll contact the winner. The giveaway will end at midnight on March 6. The winner will be drawn at random from all entrants. Limited to US residents only. Good Luck!

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Recipe For Success: Meow Cosmetics Foundation
Best Of, Complexion, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - December 30th, 2010

This is a story about my journey from being totally anti-mineral makeup to being totally in love with the stuff. It’s all because of one super-awesome company, Meow Cosmetics. I HEART Meow!! Read on to find out why YOU should heart Meow too.

Back in the day, I worked at Sephora when a certain large mineral makeup company was just hitting it big. Think QVC informercials, breathless testimonials, etc. Everyone and their sister wanted to come in and try it, and frankly, I hated the stuff. Hard to color match to really fair or really dark skin tones, funny sheen-y finish that accentuated fine lines, MESSY. It didn’t help that the typical customers happened to be really obnoxious, generally rude and demanding. Seriously, NO ONE wanted to work that section of the store. I tried it on myself and hated how it looked – very unnatural, in my opinion, like fake skin. It was hard to get a decent color match, I’m too dark for the lightest shade and too light for the next step down. Bleh.

Moving on, it was a few years before I tried mineral makeup again. I ordered a few samples from some online companies, including Meow, and I liked it but not enough to actually order. In hindsight, I just didn’t have the right formula (I was trying the lightest one) OR the right shade… Meow has 86 shades available in 3 formulas and two jar sizes. Samples are $1.00. They often have a discount or free shipping sale or both.

Meow very cleverly sent me a sample of their concealer in an eyeshadow order – and by some magical stroke of luck, it was a perfect match! I put it on a big gnarly blemish and it disappeared! DUDE!! I started using the sample as an under-eye concealer with the pressed powder foundations I’ve been wearing, and loving it. It DOES NOT FADE. It was actually a little problematic, as the rest of my foundation would fade away and my concealer was going strong… a little reverse raccoon eye problem. The next time Meow had a sale and free shipping, I ordered the full-size concealer. I then figured if the concealer didn’t fade… probably the foundation wouldn’t fade either. She can be taught!

The next step was to try out the foundation in the matching shade. I ordered a sample in the Pampered Puss formula, which adds zinc oxide to the Purr-fect Puss (the first one I tried). I have been having problems with my pressed powder foundations sinking into fine lines or getting really blotchy on my skin. The Meow did neither of these things, so I was determined to work out any kinks with application. I’ve been using a synthetic kabuki (ecoTOOLS retractable kabuki, which rocks btw), which gives a nice even finish, and doesn’t deposit the makeup too heavily. I apply two light layers, buffing around my jawline to blend. The finish is matte, and stops having a powdery look after about five minutes. Most importantly, it doesn’t fade or get blotchy or sink into fine lines as my face gets oilier as the day goes by. SO HAPPY.

Because I’m now totally devoted to Meow’s products, I decided to order the Primp & Preen Premiere Puss Primer in the oily skin formula. I love it, of course. I buff on a light layer of this with a flat-top brush before applying the foundation. It does seem to help cut down on the oilies and shiny face syndrome.

So my recipe for complexion success is to apply the primer, then the foundation, then touch up blemishes and dark circles with the concealer. I DON’T get reverse raccoon eyes anymore, as the foundation doesn’t fade! The foundation comes in two jar sizes, in case you are still on the fence or need one for travel. I bought a small jar, but will definitely get a big one next time.

Figuring out your color match can be challenging – but you can ask for help on Meow’s forums and be pointed in the right direction. Frisky Sphynx is the color I’m using, but I bet if I had tried the Mau color (the one I tried before) in a lighter shade it would have been ok too. I’m also thinking about getting another small jar in the third formula, Flawless Feline, for those days when my skin is really freaking out and I want heavier coverage without spending a lot of time layering.

If you’ve tried mineral makeup in the past and haven’t been satisfied with the results (especially if it was THAT ONE BRAND) consider trying Meow Cosmetics. The company is run by the nicest people and customer service is excellent. I haven’t tried a color or product from Meow that I didn’t like, and I have to restrain myself from buying out the place – I want one of everything!

For a perfect complexion (and lots of other things, more to come) Meow gets two thumbs up!

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Giveaway! EcoTools Six Piece Eye Brush Set
Earth Friendly, Giveaways - Comments (1) - February 17th, 2010

cb-ecotoolseyeHello Lovelies! Today we are giving away an EcoTools Bamboo 6 Piece Eye Brush Set to two lucky winners!

I love these smaller-sized eye makeup brushes, both for every day use and for travel. They work great for both mineral (loose) eyeshadows and pressed shadows, and the quality is great – as is true of all the EcoTools brushes I’ve used.

Entering the giveaway is easy. See my blog entry with the tutorial videos created by EcoTools, then enter by telling me your favorite tip from the videos. Please use the contest box – entires left in the comments will not be counted.

Have fun!

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EcoTools 6 Piece Eye Brush Set
Earth Friendly, Makeup Fun - Comments (1) - February 10th, 2010

EcoTools, makers of some of my favorite makeup brushes ever, have introduced a six piece eye brush set to perfectly apply eye makeup. When I worked at a store that sold makeup (rhymes with “menorah”), one of the most common requests we received was to show clients how to apply their eye makeup with brushes.

Ecotools has created some video tutorials that I think really nicely demonstrate how to best use their brushes to achieve the two most commonly requested eye looks: the smoky eye and the cat eye.

The brushes used in the cat eye video can be found in the six-piece brush set, or you can purchase them individually.

The smoky eye video uses the new eye brush set. I really like the brushes a lot and have worked them into my makeup routine. If you are looking for an afforable, yet good quality brush set, pick one of these up! I give EcoTools two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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Alicia Silverstone for EcoTools
Earth Friendly - Comments (4) - January 30th, 2010

cb-ecotrainI love good cosmetic bags. I have quite a few, because I’m a total sucker for them, so it was with no small anticipation that I checked out the new bags from EcoTools. EcoTools partnered with vegan actress Alicia Silverstone to design the bags, and the result is a line of functional yet pretty cosmetic bags (and a brush set).

There are three cosmetic bags, a brush bag, and a five piece brush set with a brush bag. My favorite bag hands down is the Train Case. Its got a lot of inner room, and the best part is the removal clear bag tucked up in the top of the bag. The cosmetic bag and the overnight bag are pretty cool too, and the overnight bag has removal inner bags as well.

All the bags are made out of a very sturdy hemp material, and lined with recycled plastic. The hangtags on each product are even made with tree-free stone paper! These are very eco-friendly bags.

The brush set is great! It includes a blush brush, lash & brow groomer, angled eye shadow brush, and a finishing brush. I love the EcoTools blush brush, and the angled eye shadow brush has become a new favorite in my arsenal. The finishing brush is nice for dusting on powders like highlighters or some of my various sparkly powders. The set does duplicate some of the other brush sets offered by EcoTools but I still think it’s worth it for the awesome travel case it comes with and the eye shadow brush.

You can find these bags at Target, Walgreens, Ulta, and Drugstore.com.

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Bye-Bye 2009
Best Of - Be the first to comment! - January 1st, 2010

partyToday is the first day of 2010 and 2009 is gone gone gone! How else would a blogger start the New Year than with a Best Of post?

The Raspberry Body Butter from the Body Shop is still my favorite body cream, although Kiehl’s Imperial Body Balm is THISCLOSE to being first in my heart. Speaking of Kiehl’s, their Mascara wins the prize for my most-used mascara this year. I use it almost every day now.

The return of Hard Candy definitely tops my list of Great Makeup News. I’m still in love with the new baked-style eyeshadow duos.

2009 was my year to discover the awesomeness that is loose mineral (and mineral-style) eyeshadows. Aromaleigh, J. Lynne, Meow Cosmetics, Fyrinnae, and even Bare Escentuals all get my vote (and my money!).

Natural and organic beauty really hit the big time in 2009. I use my EcoTools brushes every day, and I’m constantly amazed at the expanded cosmetics aisles in stores like Whole Foods and my local New Seasons Market.

Lonestar Memories, Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere, and Lisa Hoffman Japanese Agarwood top the list of my favorite new fragrances from 2009.

Favorite beauty moment? Shopping for cosmetics in NYC in September. Second favorite beauty moment? Deciding to cut my hair and wear it short (again).

What are your favorite things from 2009?

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